Research that matters to protecting the health and safety of workers

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is a Canadian leader in work injury and disability prevention research. An independent, not-for-profit organization, IWH conducts and shares actionable research to promote, protect and improve the health and safety of working people.

Latest news & findings


RTW outcomes improve after WSIB implements two of IWH’s Seven Principles in regional assessment service

In 2013, Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) put two of IWH’s Seven ‘Principles’ for Successful Return to Work into practice when it introduced changes to the medical assessment service offered at its Regional Evaluation Centres. The new service integrates return-to-work (RTW) planning and enhances communication among health-care providers, the WSIB and the employer, with the worker’s participation. In a new impact case study, we look at the difference in recovery and RTW outcomes after the changes were put in place.

Read the impact case study


Institute research on "the big issues" summarized in 2017 annual report

From violence to cannabis legalization to mental illness, policy-makers and occupational health and safety practitioners are challenged to stay on top of emerging societal issues that also affect the workplace. We summarize our research work on these big issues and more in the Institute’s 2017 Annual Report, now available to download.

Read the annual report


Helping young adults with disabilities enter the job market

It’s such a crucial time in one’s life, those early years when young adults find their first jobs and start making their way in the working world. For young people with a disabling health condition, it can be a frustrating time of finding barriers at every turn. What programs can help these young adults enter the labour market? In a recent IWH Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Arif Jetha shared findings from a systematic review. 

Watch the slidecast


With IWH expertise, OHCOW develops psychosocial screening tool

Ridicule and belittlement, gossip and back-stabbing, unclear job expectations, unfair treatment, relentless work demands. Research shows that psychosocial work conditions such as the above are as serious as any other safety hazard. That was why the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) set out to create a tool to help workplaces tackle psychosocial hazards. And IWH was happy to lend its tool development expertise.

Read about this work


Comparing two silica dust prevention methods: a slidecast

Research suggests that 380,000 Canadians are exposed to silica dust at work and, each year, 200 new cases of lung cancer in Ontario can be attributed to silica dust exposure. In this IWH Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Emile Tompa looked at the costs and benefits of two types of silica dust prevention strategies: use of personal protective equipment or use of engineering controls (i.e. the wet method). His presentation is now available as a slidecast.  

Watch the slidecast


Identifying promising strategies to prevent or reduce misuse and abuse of prescription opioids.

Calculating employers’ spending on occupational health and safety in 17 Ontario sectors.

Developing a screening tool for workplace psychosocial hazards, with the help of IWH’s expertise.

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Tools and guides

Integrate evidence-based policies and practices into your occupational health and safety, return-to-work and rehabilitation programs. IWH has created a number of tools and guides based on our research findings that can help improve program outcomes.

View tools and guides

Impact case studies

Find out how IWH research is making a difference. Read our impact case studies, in which policy-makers, workplaces and other stakeholders in health, safety and disability prevention tell how IWH research helped improve their policies, programs and practices.

Go to case studies

Research summaries

Whether it’s a policy briefing, a systematic review summary or the highlights of a specific research project, we’ve compiled a number of plain-language summaries to help you understand the research we’re doing, what we have found, and how we found it.

Get the summaries


Learn directly from the researchers themselves about their latest findings in health, safety and disability prevention. We host regular presentations (in person or live stream) through our IWH Speaker Series and our annual Nachemson lecture.

See upcoming events